By wrapping up promotion before their rivals, Leeds United knew relatively early on what they would need to do ahead of their first Premier League campaign under Marcelo Bielsa.
A couple of players have already come in, and Rodrigo and Robin Koch arrive with solid European pedigree while Jack Harrison and Illan Meslier are known quantities from the Whites’ promotion-winning campaign.
There are still a couple of areas which could do with a bit of improvement, though, and we’ve taken a look at what Leeds need to prioritise before the transfer deadline comes into effect a month from today.
A new centre-back
While the signing of Koch represents something of a coup for Leeds, with the defender having stood out in the Bundesliga, they’re still looking a little light at the back.
Ben White is back at Brighton after his loan spell, and chances of a permanent signing can be described as slim considering the Seagulls’ reaction to early bids.
With Gaetano Berardi also missing from the promotion side, new blood is needed, and a player capable of filling in across the back-line wouldn’t go amiss.
Marcos Senesi of Feyenoord was one of the names mentioned earlier in the window, though the Dutch club have no plans to sell, and we could yet see more players linked.
An attacking midfielder and/or winger
As good as Pablo Hernandez was in Leeds’ promotion campaign, Bielsa may be keen to add variety to the attacking midfield spots with players who can take some of the attacking midfield strain.
Ryan Kent has been linked, and the Rangers winger would have a point to prove after failing to earn any Premier League minutes during his time at Liverpool. An agreement would need to be reached on the fee, with Steven Gerrard’s side keen to turn a profit on a player who cost more than £6m.
Another name to recently take centre-stage is that of Rodrigo de Paul, an Argentina international who has spent the last four years in Italy with Udinese.
If Leeds are prepared to wait until closer to the deadline, a move for Liverpool’s Harry Wilson may still be on the cards, though the Welshman’s parent club are reportedly keen to assess the health of their squad in the opening weeks of the campaign.
More depth up front
Rodrigo’s arrival is a big deal for Leeds, and the club-record fee for the Spain striker reflects this.
However, he is still one of just three options up front, along with Patrick Bamford and Tyler Roberts, and none of the three have a great deal of Premier League familiarity.
A loan move for Liverpool’s Rhian Brewster has been mentioned, though the Reds may be keen to keep the youngster around, and Bielsa may return to his former charge Michy Batshuayi if Chelsea end up being open to a loan departure rather than a permanent exit.
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Premier League experience in goal
Meslier’s loan move has been made permanent, and Kiko Casilla is still under contract, but neither has any experience of the Premier League.
There has been talk of a swoop for Arsenal’s Emi Martinez, who is yet to put pen to paper on a new deal in north London and could be available for a knock-down price.
Even if their hopes of securing a deal for the Argentine aren’t high, there could still be time to look around the league for another man who can bring knowledge of the Premier League to an Elland Road squad still lacking a bit in that department.
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